Donate to the N14 Defence Campaign

Since the arrests on 25 May the Newcastle 14 Defence Campaign has paid for thousands of leaflets to publicise the campaign, posters, petitions, room bookings, banners, and temporary mobile phones for defendants whose phones were seized by police (most have still not been returned as of 5 July). The campaign is organising a march on 20 July, a public meeting around the end of the month and an all-day solidarity picket of the police station when the defendants sign for bail on 7 August. Funds are urgently needed to support these activities. If any charges are brought there will be further costs associated with fighting the charges.

Please dig deep and support the campaign. You can propose that your campaign group, political organisation or trade union branch makes a donation, or you can make a personal contribution. No amount is too big or too small. Donations can be sent by cheque or postal order made out to ‘May 25 Fund’ and posted to:

N14DC Box 107, 58 Low Friar Street, Newcastle upon Tyne. NE1 5UD.

Any donations not used for the N14 campaign will be kept for future defence campaigns of progressive activists in the local area.

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March against political policing! Defence the Newcastle 14! Defend the Right to challenge Racism!

On Saturday, 20th July Newcastle 14 Defence Campaign will be holding a march in support of 14 anti-racist protesters who were unjustly arrested as they were about to join ‘Newcastle Unites’ march against the fascist English Defence League (EDL).

We will be assembling outside Haymarket @ 2 pm (* note the change of time to avoid a clash with the Northern Pride parade *) (at the top of Northumberland Street, in Newcastle city centre), and will be marching to Market Street police station were we will hold a rally.

Come and join us in saying ‘No to Political Policing’ and defend the right to challenge racism, including state racism.

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Newcastle 14 and their supporters speak out against political policing Saturday 15th June 2013

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On Saturday 15th June the N14 campaign took to the streets to speak-out against political policing and racism. They set up at Haymarket, the scene of the arrests that had taken place three weeks previously and spoke on a P.A. system about the arrests and the role of the police in Britain: to protect the government’s agenda of austerity, war and privatisation and keep dissent off the streets. They performed street theatre and were clear that this was not only about defending the 14 arrested but defending democratic rights for people in local communities in Byker, Walker and Newbiggin Hall fighting back against the bedroom tax and people standing in solidarity with the Bangladeshi workers after the Rana Plaza collapse.

We will not be forced off the streets, we will not be silenced. Our message is simple – we are angry and we are organised, whether the state comes for one or fourteen of us it will have to be prepared to take us all on. Get involved to defend the right to protest!

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Timeline of the N14 arrests in photos and video

On 25 may anti-fascists were at Haymarket from around 11.10am handing out this leaflet, speaking on the megaphone and otherwise engaging with the public and encouraging people to join the Newcastle Unites march:

Pre-arrest 2Pre-arrest 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initially the police expressed no concern with these activities. Around 12.00 a police liaison officer informed the anti-fascists that Newcastle Unites organisers had told them FRFI (Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!) would not be welcome on the march. There was a slow build up in police numbers. The following photos were taken between 12.30 and 12.45, when the anti-fascists had put away their banner and megaphone and were getting ready to go and join the Newcastle Unites march. This was just minutes before the arrests, the first photo shows the main group of people who were arrested:

5 mins pre-arrest 15 mins pre-arrest 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was then a rapid build-up of police:

N14 just before arrests

 

 

 

 

 

And without any other warning the arrests began:

selected_arrests_03Newcastle 14 Arrests

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This is political policing – there was nothing in the behaviour of any of the Newcastle 14 to prompt the arrests, no escalation of the situation before the arrests were suddenly made. The only pretext for the arrests, as the police clearly stated, was that the organisers of Newcastle Unites had told them FRFI were not welcome on the march.

Stop Political Policing! Justice for the Newcastle 14!

Join the N14 Defence Campaign demonstration Saturday 15 June 12noon, Haymarket, Newcastle. Open mic for all anti-racists.

Click here to find out other ways you can support the campaign.

Many thanks to the people who have sent us video, footage and witness statements of the arrests and their context. If you were at Haymarket between 11am and 1pm pm on Saturday 25 May please get in touch at defence.campaign@gmail.com.

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Defend anti-racism! Defend the Newcastle 14! Haymarket Demonstration, Saturday 15th June, 12-2pm

Join us on the streets to raise awareness of the Newcastle 14 Defence Campaign.

This Saturday, 15th June, the Newcastle 14 Defence Campaign is calling on its supporters to join a demonstration at the initial scene of the arrests – Newcastle’s Haymarket Metro station on Northumberland Street. From 12-2pm we will be leafletting and petitioning about the situation and seeking witnesses to the arrests who regularly pass Haymarket. The demonstration will also be speaking out against all forms of racism and the need to build a strong anti-racist movement, free from censorship and exclusion.

There will be an open-mic for all to speak against racism and political policing.

Defend anti-fascism! Defend democracy! Defend the Newcastle 14!

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Five Things you can do to support the Newcastle 14 Defence Campaign

Vera Baird QC was elected to the position of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner on 16th November 2012. The Home Office states that the role involves holding the Chief Constable to account for ‘the running of their force.’ The Newcastle 14 Defence Campaign calls on supporters to contact Vera Baird and demand that the investigation is dropped, no charges are brought against the 14, and that no further anti-fascists activists are criminalised.

  1. Send Vera Baird an email or letter. Writing your own email is encouraged but see below for a model letter, and email addresses.
  2. Phone Vera Baird’s PCC office on 01912 219800.
  3. Tweet Vera Baird @northumbriapcc, @verabaird – #Newcastle14
  4. Sign the 38 Degrees Petition: http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/defend-the-newcastle-14-no-to-political-policing
  5. Join the N14 demonstration, outside Haymarket Metro, Saturday 15th June 12-2pm.

Model Letter to Vera Baird (Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner)

Send to: Northumbria PCC Office: enquiries@northumbria-pcc.gov.uk

Dear Vera Baird,

I am writing to bring to your attention the alarming case of the Newcastle 14, fourteen anti-fascist activists who were arrested shortly before the racist ‘English Defence League’ (EDL) march on Saturday 25th May. These fourteen activists were peacefully advertising the ‘Newcastle Unites’ counter demonstration at Newcastle’s Haymarket when they were surrounded and arrested on suspicion of ‘Conspiracy to commit violent disorder’. All of the arrested had their houses raided and their phones and laptops seized. This has seriously affected the exams, employment, and living situation of the fourteen, with one defendant evicted from her property. The youngest person arrested was only 15. There was no conspiracy and no reason to expect violence from these anti-fascists. Many EDL supporters however, were free to throw fireworks and bottles throughout the afternoon without fear of arrest.

The arrests of the Newcastle 14 were clearly politically motivated and I call on you to use your power as Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner to demand:

– that the investigation is dropped and that no charges are brought against the 14.

– that all seized property is promptly returned

There is worrying evidence that the ‘Newcastle Unites against the EDL’ group were complicit in these arrests to silence political criticism on the march, with Labour councillor Dipu Ahad threatening on Facebook prior to the march that anti-fascists would be reported to the police. As this comes following the arrest of anti-cuts activist Michael ‘Don’ Macdonald in February at the request of Labour council leader Nick Forbes it appears that there is a wider evidence of local Labour politicians using the police as a political tool to silence dissenting voices. I encourage you to formally support the campaign and to ensure that there is no further criminalisation of anti-fascists as people continue to mobilise to oppose the rising threat of far-right groups such as the EDL.

If anti-fascists activists are targeted by the police whilst EDL members are free to commit real violence, what hope does Newcastle have in facing the rising tide of racism?

More information, including the online petition, can be found at: https://defencecampaign.wordpress.com

Yours Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Download the model letter as a word document.

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Anti-EDL march advertising leaflet

Anti-EDL march advertising leaflet

A scanned copy of the leaflets advertising Newcastle Unite’s march against the EDL. FRFI supporters and independent anti-fascists were handing out, on May 25th, these leaflets when arrested. For more information on the arrests read the N14 defence campaign statement: https://defencecampaign.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/newcastle-14-defence-campaign-launched/

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